Briones: Learning about the past

Publio J. Briones III
·2 min read

IF YOU have nothing to do tomorrow night and you are a lover of history, why not check out the Gabii sa Kabilin One Night Only.

The online heritage event brought to you by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. Culture and Heritage Unit will start at 6 p.m. and last until midnight. It will be streamed through Everbrite, so you don’t have to worry about health protocols and risk catching coronavirus disease 2019. You can learn about Cebu’s past, and watch different cultural performances and historical documentaries in the comfort of your own home. All for P80 per person.

While you’re at it, you can prepare a light snack, whip up a full meal or have your favorite food delivered.

If you want to participate, you can purchase tickets at Payments are accepted through GCash, credit, debit card or PayPal.

As everybody knows, the government is commemorating the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Spaniards to our shores, which coincides with the birth of Christianity in the country. And in an island where 90 percent of the population are devoted Catholics, it’s a big deal.

Also, 500 years ago, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan was killed by Lapulapu in a skirmish in Mactan. Yeah, I prefer to use the word “skirmish” because I believe it is closer to the truth.

Magellan and his men had just crossed halfway around the world, stricken with scurvy and other diseases, when they showed up on Rajah Humabon’s doorstep. Seriously, I don’t think they were in any condition to be “battle-ready.” And I don’t think they were well equipped for one either.

Sure, they had muskets and crossbows, but they were no match for Lapulapu’s men, who numbered more than 1,000 to their 49.

Either way, you all know the outcome. But did you know, the survivors of Magellan’s soldiers were later double-crossed by Humabon? After all that they’d done. No wonder the Spaniards left in a huff and didn’t come back for another 44 years.

But when they did, they stayed for more than 300 years, leaving an indelible mark on our language, culture, heritage and religion. In other words, we have no choice but to live with their legacy.

Hence, this year’s theme is “The Arrival.” No, not the Denis Villeneuve film starring Amy Adams. Although for lovers of science fiction who like to rack their brains, I recommend you watch it.

I also recommend that you join the Gabii sa Kabilin One Night Only. You never know, you might learn other interesting tidbits about our past.